Running for Addiction
Many addicts feel like recovery is a long, lonely road and starting next week, a British man will make that metaphorical road a real one. On May 20, Tom Fitzsimons will start his Run4Sobriety, a 3,100-mile run from San Francisco to New York City.
Fitzsimons was 13 when his drug-addicted father died choking on whiskey. To cope with the pain, Fitzsimons also reached for alcohol and started drinking heavily. As time went on, he was drinking 20 pints of beer and a half a bottle of whiskey every day.
If Fitzsimons ran out of money at the bar, he would find a way to get beer through someone else. He even snuck into his children’s bedroom and stole from their piggy banks to buy alcohol. In just 6 months, he spent thousands of pounds of savings on alcohol. That’s when his partner, Zoe, threw up her hands. Not wanting to lose her, Fitzsimons knew he had to tackle his addiction.
Fitzsimons sought help from his doctor, but he didn’t feel comfortable. He needed to find another way to fight his addiction. This led him to the idea of running.
The first night he ran, Fitzsimons felt a bit of happiness again—and he hadn’t felt happy since his father died. He ran the next night. From then on, Fitzsimons chose running over drinking. He participated in 35 marathons, 15 of which were over 30 miles.
Despite having a heart condition and torn cartilage in his knee, Fitzsimons is determined to complete the 3,100-mile trek. He wants to inspire addicts to seek help and show them that recovery from alcohol and drug addiction is possible.
Fitzsimons should finish his journey on August 27, which marks his sixth year of being sober. He hopes to have May 20, the day he starts, designated as National Sobriety Day in Great Britain.
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